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JA slide show
Track 5 - Fruit and Vegetable Production

Program - Sponsors - Registration - Lodging - Rideshare

This track addresses specific issues related to growing fruits and vegetables in the Mid-Atlantic region in the most sustainable manner possible. Small and medium-sized growers will benefit from sessions covering topics related to soil health and preparation, crop selection, specific production and marketing techniques, and more.


Friday, January 18

SESSION I - 2:30 – 4:00 pm

Anthony OwensGrowing Organic Tree Fruit on the East Coast

Anthony Owens, Hendersonville, North Carolina - Windy Ridge Organic Farms

In 2003, Windy Ridge Organic Farms became the first commercial apple grower to obtain USDA organic certification in North Carolina. It remains the largest organic apple grower on the East Coast and owner Anthony Owens is a poster child for proving that it's not impossible to grow tree fruit organically in the humid southeastern climate. In this session, Owens will talk about disease and pest control, varieties and orchard management, and other issues related to producing high-quality apples organically.

SESSION II - 4:15 - 5:30 pm

Cover Crops, Compost and Pollinator Habitats for Conservation

Ron Wood, Richmond, Virginia - National Resources Conservation Service

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers technical and financial assistance to organic producers to implement conservation practices including cover cropping, wildlife and pollinator habitat, compost facilities, crop rotation, nutrient management, pest management, and rotational grazing. This workshop will cover practical information about using key programs such as EQIP, what is offered and what questions to ask, and a local organic farmer's perspective.

 

Saturday, January 19

SESSION III - 8:30 - 10:00 am

jenni mccloudNorton: Native Grape for More Sustainable Vineyards

Jennifer McCloud, Middleburg, Virginia - Chrysalis Vineyards

For Chesapeake region winemakers, it doesn't get any more sustainable than the Norton grape. From a grower's perspective, this heirloom grape offers important pest and disease resistance, and can be cultivated with minimal environmental impact. From a winemakers perspective, the ability to craft something unique to the region has a lot of smart business appeal. Jennifer McCloud is "committed to restoring Norton to its rightful position of prominence among fine wines" and her vineyard currently has the largest planting of Norton grapes in the world.

 

SESSION IV - 10:15 - 11:45 am

joshvolkTractor Cultivation for Diverse Vegetable Operations

Josh Volk, Portland, Oregon - Slow Hand Farm

This will take farmers who have no experience with tractors to the point where they understand what the basic tools are, and how to use them. Experienced farmers may also find a few tips and tricks woven in. Starting with basic bed preparation techniques and moving through planing and cultivation, farmer and Growing for Market contributing writer Josh Volk will explain the system he developed at Sauvie Island Organics as an example of how a few basic tools and techniques can greatly reduce the need for hand weeding.

SESSION V - 3:45 - 5:00 pm

Anthony OwensMarketing Organic Tree Fruit on the East Coast

Anthony Owens, Hendersonville, North Carolina - Windy Ridge Organic Farms

In 2003, Windy Ridge Organic Farms became the first commercial apple grower to obtain USDA organic certification in North Carolina. It remains the largest organic apple grower on the East Coast and owner Anthony Owens is a poster child for proving that it's not impossible to grow tree fruit organically in the humid southeastern climate. But is it sustainable economically? Owens will talk about how he has built a brand to respond to consumer demand and how he gets the prices necessary to make his business profitable.